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Potholes force closure of Malawi airport

18 March 2014, 08:28

Blantyre - Two potholes which developed after heavy rains on the main runway of one of Malawi's biggest two international airports forced authorities on Monday to close Chileka Airport in the commercial capital Blantyre.

Transport Minister Ulemu Chilapondwa told reporters that the airport, about 20km outside Blantyre, was "unsafe to large planes...we have alerted all airlines that there will be restricted landing at the airport because of major repair works on the main runway".

Large planes such as the Boeing 737 cannot land at the airport, he said.

Despite hiring a contractor to fill the potholes, Chilapondwa said consistent heavy rains had caused "major damage underneath so much that once one pothole is filled, another develops immediately".

The minister said maintenance work should take two weeks.

This leaves Malawi with one international airport in the administrative capital Lilongwe.



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